‘Brexit not to blame’ for food shortages as Britons fume at ‘bitter EU dictators’

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Express.co.uk readers fired back at unearthed comments from Donald Tusk, former President of the European Council, for calling Brexit the UK’s “day of reckoning”. After leaving the EU in January, the UK is adapting the effects that some experts say Brexit is having on food supply chains.

Speaking on the 2019 BBC documentary ‘Inside Europe: 10 Years of Turmoil’, Mr Tusk recalled a conversation he had with then-Prime Minister David Cameron.

The duo spoke just as the 2016 referendum results showed 52 percent of the British public had voted to leave the EU.

In the documentary, the former European President said: “David Cameron called me, and he informed me that he was ready to resign.

“I said ‘yes David’, it would be very difficult even to imagine that a Prime Minister who was the leader of the Remain campaign would be just two days later the prime minister negotiating Brexit.

“It was like his day of reckoning was coming, reckoning for his biggest mistake in his life.”

Throughout 2021, supermarkets and trade associations warned there could be food shortages unless the Government eases post-Brexit visa rules for EU workers.

The chairman of Tesco, the UK’s biggest supermarket, has said that more HGV drivers are needed to meet a shortfall of almost 100,000.

However, the Government has so far stood firm on the situation and its will to honour the result of the Brexit vote.

A Home Office spokesperson said: “The British people repeatedly voted to end free movement and take back control of our immigration system.

“Employers should invest in our domestic workforce instead of relying on labour from abroad.”

In response to Mr Tusk’s comments, and to recent food shortages, Express.co.uk readers have fiercely defended leaving the EU.

One user said: “Brexit is not to blame for any problems in supply chains etc it’s the ridiculous zealots if the dictator unelected bureaucrats.

“Simply because they are angry at losing hold over the UK and especially our money, which is all they wanted in the first place.

“Well tough, I don’t regret biting for Brexit and would do it every time if there were more referendums.

“This country is the cesspit it is thanks to the EU dictators.”

More readers piled on to dispute Mr Tusk’s claims Brexit was the “biggest mistake”.

One said: “is he having a laugh? Brexit is the best thing that has happened to us for decades.”

Another user then said: “We will not get the respect due from the EU for being their single biggest customer until Boris, Frost, Gove & Eustice actually stand up to the EU & say enough is enough – The NIP must be rescinded & the ROI & EU can sort out the NI/ROI border, no shellfish exports to the EU then no EU boats in UK waters, no Lugano convention entry then no access to UK Capital markets & no divorce payment.

“If that means WTO so be it. The EU are treating the UK like a subservient Colony.

“Business that does that loses its customers!”

However, one reader suggested Mr Tusk was talking “about Cameron’s day of reckoning in the documentary, not UK’s”.

Shane Brennan, CEO of the Cold Chain Federation, recently said worsening supermarket food shortages are now “inevitable” in the coming weeks as labour shortages across the food supply chain approach crunch point.

He said “the real crisis for food supplies starts now” as driver shortages have been compounded by shortfalls across other low-paid sectors including harvesting, manufacturing and packaging.

The British Meat Processors Association said this week some processors have lost 10 percent of their workforce and were now about two weeks away from cutting deliveries to retailers.

Andrew Opie, director of food & sustainability at the BRC, said retailers are aware of the fall in driver numbers and working with “suppliers to ensure that consumers still have the same great selection of fresh produce.”

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